« Our kind of guy! | Main | How is this different? »

Comments

Nathan N.

This is interesting to me. When I was in junior high and high school, the majority of people who excelled in the more advanced math classes like calculus were overwhelmingly girls. I went to Catholic schools. I'm not seeing what the barriers to these careers are, either; at my school, the very intelligent girls were always encouraged in their mathematical skills and were very often rewarded for them. (And so were the few boys who excelled in this area).

If there are barriers, they must be at the college level -- I certainly didn't see them at the junior high and high school levels.

mary

I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids.

Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

me

Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.

Margi

Like Nathan I went to Catholic school - we were all girls and we all expected to excel to the glory of God. No baby a year til you drop for us. I have a BSc and MSc in medical sciences but I chose to become a nurse. I wanted to.

Jodi

I majored in Computer Science in college. I felt what it was like to be one of a handful of women (maybe 3 or 4) in a class of 70 or more. I had (male) friends that used my grades to tease each other. ("Greg, a girl can program better than you!", etc)

I think it really is a lot more of a mental barrier. You feel out of place when you are one of the only women. I was afraid to speak up in class because I did not want to be "that dumb girl".

It only got better when a group of us women started meeting regularly to talk. When we affirmed one another in our fears, we gained confidence. I felt more at home in my chosen major. I was more confident in my abilities.

I understand that some careers/educational degrees may be more appealing to women than others, but that does not mean that it should be difficult for women to enter those fields.

mandamum

There is an interesting book examining where the "leak in the pipeline" is, and I think they found a few leaks--different barriers at different levels. Especially where connecting to mentors helped at the college/graduate level. But I don't really see how one could "legislate" a solution to these. And are you aware of the study that found that, given a math quiz and seated in group of three, the girls performed much worse if even one of the three was a boy? Hmm.... But I think we have come a long way, and will continue to overcome some of these issues as time passes.

I am currently a math grad student, and my impression is that the boundaries there are related to the acceptability of part-time positions in academia. I would love to raise my children and keep one foot in the math-education world, and then get back into it fulltime in 20 years, but I think I'll have to carve my own way to that, if I can. But this isn't something that should be legislated...except perhaps to insist on equal pay for equal work, even if it's not done for the same number of hours a week.

And the other big way to legislate equality, in anything work-wise, is to insist on good, cheap, daycare. That's what I see when I see this question--that's what my fellow students mostly want. A few of us want a real way to split studies and family without people writing us off as "not serious", but the rest seem more taken up with finding good other-care for their children.

Jennifer

The problem with the 'feminist' movement is that it rides on the backs of the innocent, either by aborting the unwanted, or dumping the unwanted in 'other care'. I think 'legislating equality' with tax payer funded day orphanages is defintely not a good thing. http://www.drlaurablog.com/2008/12/05/babies-need-love-not-day-care/

I know from experience, there are no 'programs' or 'scolarships' for white males. My husband is trying his darndest to support a family of four. White men, i guess, have to do it the old fashioned way. Working full time and going to school is not easy. So to those who say white males have it easy, it must be only the single ones with rich families!

TO QUOTE: http://www.drlaurablog.com/2009/06/03/empowering-men-on-campus/
"Recent job losses hit men harder - women earn far more bachelor’s and Master’s degrees than men. There is a huge imbalance in government and private initiatives that advance the interest of women and girls (often to the direct detriment of men), like Title IX, which eliminates men’s school sports when there aren’t enough women interested in having a women’s team of the same sport. 'Men in Power' ... is a group helping men succeed and regain a respect for their masculinity - something current culture and feminism has worked double time to destroy."


Thanks for your excellent blog and article.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Speaking Engagements

  • Contact info
    Kindly email me at gskineke [at] gmail.com for me to speak to your parish or women's group.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Comments

    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

    Subscribe here

    • My Catholic Homepage